There has been a flurry of recent press activity around Marmalade Lane, TOWN’s Cohousing development delivered with Trivselhus UK and Mole Architects for K1 Cohousing.
Oliver Wainwright wrote an extensive and very generous review of the scheme in the Guardian, in which he described Marmalade Lane as “a model of people-centred development” and “the only good thing to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis”.
Marmalade Lane was featured on the front cover of the Evening Standard’s Homes and Property section, in which Philippa Stockley highlighted the unique way “that the council joined willing forces with the developer, the architect and the determined future residents to create their dream.”
Media interest in the project is a testament to the increasingly-recognised need for new models of housing that respond better to people’s needs. It also reflects the growing mainstream interest in community-led and custom-built housing and how this can help solve the UK’s pressing housing need. It is gratifying that these pieces highlight the positive experience of residents as much as the credentials of the design. Much of the coverage highlighted the potential for councils and other public bodies to explore land disposal processes similar to that adopted by Cambridge City Council to encourage more developments like Marmalade Lane to happen.
Perhaps the most insightful comment was made by Ike Ijeh in Housing Today:
“For before co-housing was invented, there was a term for residential developments that incorporated good design, close communities, communal gathering, shared gardens, active streets, municipal support and user choice: it was simply called housing.”